Front row shortage for New Brighton leads to recruitment drive

WANTED: Former division one captain Mitch Alcock holds the Hawkins Trophy after their victory in 2013. The club is looking for more championships and more front rowers for the 2018 season. PHOTO: Supplied

New Brighton is on the hunt for front rowers to join their ranks and help push for another title this year.

After beating Sumner 19-16 in the division one plate final in July, the team wants to keep its winning ways.

Division one coach Scott Pawson said their No 1 prop Carisbrook To’omalatai’s Visa has expired so he has headed back to Samoa and Connor Pokoati has gone to Europe to work.

Hooker Feleti Katitu’u has signed with the Western Force in the new Indo-Pacific Rugby Championship which billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest is trying to set up after the Perth-based club was dropped from Super Rugby.

“Oli Jager is also in the Crusaders environment as well, so we have a couple left but we need more as it is quite a specialised position,” Pawson said.

Rugby development officer Roddy Butt said it is quite easy to find loose forwards and backs but the front row is a bit of a struggle.

“We have a couple at the moment but we want to boost our stocks across all the grades . . . they [props] seem to be the hardest to find,” he said.

New Brighton is not looking for the next Joe Moody, although that would be nice, Butt said.

“Someone that can hold up a corner will do,” he said. The club has put the call out in a Facebook post: “Championship titles and good props go hand-in-hand and we are after both.”

They have a few hookers in the grades, but more would be handy, Butt said.

New Brighton is also entering under-16 and under-19 teams. The latter will join a new competition started by the Canterbury Rugby Football Union to give school leavers an extra option rather than just colts rugby.

•If you are keen to join the New Brighton club or know someone who is, give Roddy Butt a call on 021 656 695.